From the Kenosha News on 2-11-07

Consider these issues if you want to buy Office 2007

       At the same time as Microsoft released the new Windows Vista, they also released a new version of MS Office – 2007.  You may be thinking about getting it for your home computer, or your place of work may be planning to upgrade soon.  Either way, there are some things you’ll want to know before you take the plunge.

       For the first time since MS Office 97, the file formats are now different.  When you save a Word 2007 document, it is saved with a .docx extension.  This new file format is not compatible with older versions of Word, so if you want to send your document to friends that don’t have 2007 yet, you should use Save As and select “Word 97-2003 document” as the format.  If you have friends with Office 2007 but you still have an earlier version, you can download a converter from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en.  Save the executable file to your desktop then double-click on it to install. Once installed, you can open an Office 2007 file by double-clicking on the file. The converter will launch first and convert it, then launch Office and open the file. 

       If you upgrade, be prepared for a different look.  Your first question will be “Where are the toolbars and menus?”  With no more File or Edit menu, how do you save your file or copy and paste something?  The new look includes a large, round “Office button” in the upper left corner which includes all the file operations like Save, Open, Print, etc.  There is also a Save (diskette) icon next to the Office button.

       If you want to change your default options (such as always saving in the older file format), click the Office button, then click the Word Options button at the bottom of the window.  Click the Save item in the left column, then select the Word 97-2003 format from the top drop-down menu.  Click OK.

       In place of the normal menus and toolbars are “ribbons.”  Click the Home tab in Word to see the main options like formatting.  To get a full menu for changing the font and other formatting, click the tiny “square with arrow” icon in the lower right corner of the Font ribbon.  This will bring up a more traditional formatting window.  Click the Page Layout tab to display ribbons related to page formatting.  Click the Review tab to display the Proofing ribbon and options like spell-check and thesaurus.  One of my first questions was how to display the ruler.  Click the View tab and click the Ruler option in the Show/Hide ribbon. 

       Specific things you might look for include: 

  • Copy and Paste - in the Clipboard ribbon at the left when the Home tab is active. 
  • Find – use the binoculars button at the far right end of the ribbon under the Home tab in both Word and Excel.
  • Print Preview – now one of the options under Print, accessible by clicking the Office button.
  • Sort (in Excel) – next to the Find feature on the right under the Home tab.

       If you know any of the keyboard commands for your favorite features (e.g. Ctrl-F for Find), those still work.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 2-11-07